Local entrepreneur, Wilmie Smith from Cape Town, has embarked on a creative journey of repurposing tapestries into functional works of art. Her company Mathilde & Amélie now in its fifth year, is going from strength to strength restoring the dignity of beautiful handwork pieces into handbags, lamps, chairs and their newly launched range of buck heads.
“I have always appreciated the beauty of handwork. Nothing gives me more enjoyment than enhancing their longevity by repurposing it into something that can be appreciated and used every day,” shares Wilmie.
Three key lessons that these tapestries have taught me:
Every single stitch matters ~ each stitch plays an important part to form the whole picture. Every stitch contributes to the strength, durability and functionality of a hand worked piece. But, with that said, there is also strength in numbers, a good support system is vital. If one stitch is frayed, all the other stitches detracts from it to form a holistic view.
Interrogate all the angles. Sometimes the back of the tapestry is even more beautiful and vibrant than the front. Some of my most beautiful and popular pieces that I have created was made with the ‘wrong side’ of the tapestry. The lesson here is that it important to interrogate all the angles of a situation before making a decision.
You need to be bold! “When I decided that I would like to work with tapestries and repurpose them into functional pieces and decorative objects, I found it very difficult and quite an emotional process to cut into that first handmade piece. But, if I hadn’t, these pieces would be lost to the world.”
“One of my favourite quotes and mantras that I live by is from Tony Robbins ‘Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and start being excited about what could go right,’ Be bold, believe in yourself` and make that first cut!
Each Mathilde & Amélie piece is an original, one-of-a-kind design that cannot be repeated.